If the War in Afghanistan is over, Why are there Still 11,000 U.S. Troops There?
The United States didn’t skip a beat last weekend when it officially ended the war in Afghanistan, then launched its new mission to justify the nearly 11,000 American soldiers remaining in the country.
A ceremony was held Sunday that declared the 13-year war against the Taliban and insurgents was concluded. The very same ceremony was used to proclaim the start of operation “Resolute Support,” which calls for keeping U.S. troops in Afghanistan to advise and train the Afghan military.
There are now about 10,800 U.S. service members in the country and that number is supposed to drop throughout 2015 and 2016, by which time the only U.S. troops in Afghanistan will be there to guard our embassy. The Obama administration has said that the U.S. troop total will be reduced by 50% by the end of 2015.
Another 2,700 soldiers from allied countries will also serve under Resolute Support.
It’s an open question whether the U.S. presence will help the Afghan army maintain control of the country. Taliban forces are already moving into areas that American forces once held.
To Learn More:
The War In Afghanistan By The Numbers (by Ryan Koronowski, ThinkProgress)
U.S., NATO Mark End of Mission in Afghanistan (by Ely Brown, Luis Martinez and Devin Dwyer, ABC News)
Obama Orders U.S. Troops in Afghanistan to Keep Fighting for a 14th Year (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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